Keeping Chef's Coats White

Joined Dec 30, 1999
There is a GREAT book that just came out called "Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean". It has solutions for every stain listed by fabric and treatment. List Price: $8.99 on sale at for $5.39, small change compared to replacing your coats.

The book has tips like if you have grease base stains, use WD-40 to reconstitute the stain, then use borax and water to rub it out, wash. Another tip is for protien based stains (like soy milk), use meat tenderizer and water to soak the stain, then wash, etc.

Chlorine bleach WILL turn your whites yellow. Use non-chlorine bleach like Clorox 2. Try soaking in Clorox 2.

If your whites do turn yellow, there are a number of things that can cause fabric to yellow and a number of ways to try to make them white again. The weird part is that a couple of things that you might think are right are really wrong.

* For instance, too much bleach will turn whites yellow! What a pain! And if the water is hard (high iron content) chlorine bleach can cause rust stains. Not good!
OK, so now what to do?!?

* Bluing agent:
It is a colorant that you can add to whites to neutralize the yellowish cast and works fantastically. You can buy it at the grocery. Follow the instructions carefully or you can end up with blue streaks on the fabric. This is only a mess not a permanent problem. Just wash again and it will dissolve the bluing and rinse out.

* Optical whiteners and enzyme cleaners:
This is what is in most presoaks. One thing to remember...if you have cream colored table linen presoaks can make white spots where you put the pretreatment product. I found this out the hard way.

* Borax:
Wash twice using borax and rinse well.
1/4 C. borax with 2 T. mild detergent in a sinful of warm water is good for washing delicate fabrics. Let them soak for about 10 minutes then rinse well in cool water until thoroughly out.

* Hard water solutions:
The yellowing is caused by iron and manganese salts in the water. Well water is often very hard. A water softening system will be the ultimate answer. Do Not use chlorine
bleach. This will make matters worse! But in the meantime, try using equal parts water and either lemon juice or white vinegar.

**What about if you have another version of this problem...a red something or other (for instance) in with the whites:

Don't dry the items. Take out the piece that caused the problem then rewash the whole load using the strongest detergent and bleaching agent for the fabric that is stained.

If this doesn't do the trick, you can try a color remover. This is only for whites! It strips the color out of the fabric. You can find it in a hardware store, drug store, home center, and some supermarkets. Follow the instructions exactly. This stuff is serious but it works.

[This message has been edited by cchiu (edited October 11, 2000).]
Joined Oct 6, 2001
Sounds crazy but throw in a can of coke. It really helps whiteness and even the grease factor! Someone suggested it to me after cleaning the fryer one day and it worked! (of course you know what happens to a penny that sits in coke for a while...). By the way, Coke brand seems to work better than the store brand cola!
Joined Sep 28, 1999
Any advice on how to keep chef's coats white. I've washed with a pre-treatment of spray-and-wash and added bleach. This isn't getting everything off the coat and I'm afraid the constant use of bleach will start to turn the jacket yellow.

Any advice? Thanks
Joined Jul 18, 2000
i find that the best jacket cleaner is a product called napisan. It is a sanitising solution for babies nappies and it works like a charm.

I use a mixture of hot to boiling water, half a cap of bleach, add about 1 capful of napisan powder and soak for about 2-3 days.

The only thing that i cannot seem to get out of my uniforms is pot carbon.

Sometimes when stove burners dont quite work right, a lot of carbon builds up on the base and around the sides, especially with some natural gas burners and quite a few LPG ones.

Pick up the pot using your chest or stomach as support, voila, massive black stains.

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited October 12, 2000).]
Joined Sep 28, 1999
Wow, thanks for all the advice. Can't wait to get home and do laundry. Wait...that's not right.

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